We now continue with ideas and suggestions for ways to save money for your trip; and to save money while on your trip to Walt Disney World. This is Part II on “saving money for your trip”. But let me clarify the point of the first two articles about saving money for your trip. To a large degree I’m suggesting you reassign the dollars you spend from one area of your life for use on your vacation.
It is a matter of priorities. Not everyone will have extra funds to set aside since they are living on all they earn. I’m suggesting if you have to continue spending at your current level, change your habits and give you and your family the opportunity to get away every once in a while; even it we’re talking day trips to someplace closer or a full Disney vacation… you need time off to enjoy yourself. Life is too short.
The first article headline emphasized the “pay yourself first” approach to saving money, and I’ll continue some of that today. Here were the tips I provided in the first article.
Establish a travel savings account
Round up checkbook entries
Saving Loose Change
Dollar a Day
Save and collect deposit bottles
Save your raise
Sell Stuff – Garage Sale
Sell Stuff- EBay
Save the Unexpected or Found Money
Match your kids
Here are some more ideas.
Vacation Club – Many people have used Christmas Clubs at their bank for years. They put aside $5 or $10 a week, sometimes more, and then they have money for the holiday. Why not for your vacation? You may even be able to set up a 52-week plan that starts any time of the year, so it ends up just before you leave. Now you have most of your pocket money for the trip.
Save The Tax Return – First let me say, that I am not in favor of reducing your paycheck to give an interest-free loan to the government just so you can get a return in the spring. You can just as easily direct deposit that extra paycheck amount to your savings and earn a little interest. But if you do build a return, treat it as “unexpected” and deposit to your travel account.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, Magic Kingdom
Pay for Your Coffee – I recently bought a Keurig single-cup coffee machine and have found many really nice coffees, most of which are as good or better than what I can get at premium coffee shops like Starbucks or even the local donut store. Put a change jar near the machine, and make your own coffee before you leave for work. Keep the difference between what your coffee at home would cost (about 50 cents) and the store-bought kind. You could be saving up to $2 each time; that can be several hundred dollars in the year and will pay for more than a few meals at Disney for you and your spouse. [But you can still stop at the store for a pastry to go with your java.]
Pack a Lunch – Maybe not every day, but if you are a regular take-out or restaurant patron while at work, why not eliminate just one time a week. That $5, $10, or $20 you save can be put aside with your other travel funds and after a year, with $500 or more, you can upgrade your room reservation from value to moderate or even higher.
Consider a Second Job – This is a hard one for most of us. The working environment today is such that it already feels like we’re already working two jobs. But don’t count out this option. Some people are professionals and can consult; others don’t mind working retail during the holiday and then use their earnings to pay all their vacation travel expense. How about a paper route or baby-sitting? I want to go on vacation to Walt Disney World as often as I can, and if that means working longer or harder or more, it’s what I’ll do. How about you?
Rent Movies for Entertainment – I recently discovered Red Box. Now I love the movies, but I can wait a few weeks and spend $1 to rent a movie rather than shell out $30 or more for movie and snack with the family (even for off times). So if you go to the movies twice a month, how about going only once and put the savings into your travel fund. This same concept works for eating out with the family or attending community events. Set your priorities straight. If you want to go on vacation without a lot of debt, cut down the numbers and put the difference away for the trip.
Cash Back and Reward Credit Cards – Before last year’s trip I picked up the Disney Visa card. If I’m going to charge something (charge, like pay back right away; not credit, that takes my interest away), why not on a card that I earn cash back. It’s how I paid for my vacation rental car last year, using American Express Rewards. The Disney Visa has other value too that we’ll discuss in another article. And don't forget rebates, that we sometimes don't apply for. This is found money and goes right into the jar or account.
Ask for a Discount – It’s interesting to me how many people accept the retail, posted or first price they see on an item. It could be furniture, maybe even a car, sometimes it’s an appliance, or maybe just toys. If you shop at a local store for any products, why not ask the owner if they can do better. You might be surprised. The big one most people forget is Insurance; it’s very competitive out there. Or find a few items you order online, or take the online price with you to the big box stores. If you do save any money, where doe it go; right into your vacation fund.
Request Disney Dollars as Gifts – OK, this may be a little pushy with your friends and family. Birthday and anniversary gifts should be a surprise, right? Well, excuse me. The best gift I can receive is help toward my air fare, rental car, admission tickets, resort reservations, back-stage tours, food, drink and souvenirs. The best gift for me is Disney Dollars that I can spend on my next trip to the “World”. Thank you.
Special Tip: Make a chart, like a thermometer that the whole family can monitor and add to when money is set aside for your vacation. When you travel as a family, every one should participate and celebrate your successes. Keeping a running chart also helps build the anticipation. You might start printing pictures from the sites you want to see or do at the parks, and tape them with your "dollar meter".
We’ve now had two articles and at least 20 ways to save money in advance for your next trip to Walt Disney World. Below I’ve included some additional resources you will find helpful in accomplishing your target amounts. Next week I’ll present the first of two articles on saving money while on vacation. This will include ideas to reduce your cost when planning your trip and also while you are at the parks.
In my last post I talked about researching and using lots of coupons, particularly for groceries. Then you take the savings and set aside for your vacation. Here are some sites to find those coupons and a whole lot more of discounts and savings for many if not most of your purchases.
I’m sure there are more of these, not just those that are overlapping the deals. Let me know, and I’ll share it with everyone. Write me at email@example.com. By the way, the sites I’m listing are not sponsors nor do they pay for the posting. They are just what I found on the ‘net.
Here are some other web sites to check out for ideas on saving money for your next Walt Disney World Vacation: